Series: Game 2 of 3

New York leads 2-0 (as of 7/3)

Game 1: Tuesday, July 2
Cleveland 5Final
New York 10
Game 2: Wednesday, July 3
Cleveland 8Final
New York 11
Game 3: Thursday, July 4
Cleveland 1Final
New York 7

Indians 8

(37-45, 16-27 away)

Yankees 11

(52-31, 26-15 home)

    7:05 PM ET, July 3, 2002

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 010300130 8 - -
    NYY 05001041 - 11 - -

    W: D. Wells (9-5)

    L: C. Sabathia (6-7)

    S: M. Rivera (20)

    Thome one shy of homer mark; Yanks win again

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Jim Thome just wishes he could enjoy his historic home run tear.

    Jim Thome
    First Base
    Cleveland Indians
    81 26 60 45 0 .281

    Thome homered in his seventh straight game, leaving him one shy of the major league record, but the New York Yankees beat Cleveland 11-8 Wednesday night to send the Indians to their fourth consecutive loss and 11th in 15 games.

    ''It's nice, but it's not fun when you don't win,'' Thome said. ''It's been a great deal, don't get me wrong. You hope it doesn't end, but you know someday it will. I haven't really given it much thought because of the way we've been playing.''

    Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs for the Yankees, who improved to 11-0 against AL Central teams. Rondell White and Jorge Posada added two-run singles, Ron Coomer had a two-run double and Enrique Wilson tripled twice on a 93-degree night in the Bronx.

    The Yankees (52-31) have won five of six to move a season-high 21 games over .500.

    Thome hit a 3-2 pitch from David Wells (9-5) over the fence in left-center with two outs in the seventh inning. The solo shot gave Thome an AL-leading 26 homers this season and cut Cleveland's deficit to 6-5. He finished 1-for-5.

    ''He's pretty hot right now,'' teammate Ellis Burks said. ''I just wish we could support him as well as he's been supporting us, because he's definitely been carrying us.''

    The major league record for consecutive games with a home run is eight, shared by Ken Griffey Jr. when he was with Seattle (1993), Don Mattingly of the Yankees (1987) and Dale Long of Pittsburgh (1956).

    Thome, left off the AL All-Star team by Yankees manager Joe Torre, can tie the record Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Mike Mussina starts for New York.

    ''I'd like to see Thome hit a home run every night, believe me I pull for it,'' Cleveland manager Charlie Manuel said. ''But I think we've still got about a half a season to go -- if he does that, I want to be his agent.''

    New right fielder Raul Mondesi, acquired Monday from Toronto for a Double-A reliever, was 1-for-4 in his second game with the Yankees -- but his hit was important.

    Mondesi beat out an infield single in the seventh with a headfirst slide, extending the inning and drawing a loud cheer from the crowd of 39,879. That loaded the bases for Posada, who came through with a two-out, two-run single off Paul Shuey.

    Coomer, playing for the first time in 10 games because of muscle spasms and a pinched nerve in his neck, followed with a two-run double to make it 10-5.

    Every Yankee batter had a hit and scored a run. New York scored five times in the second inning and four in the seventh, getting nine of their 11 runs with two outs. Jason Giambi hit a sacrifice fly off C.C. Sabathia (6-7) in the fifth.

    ''Things like that are important for us to do,'' Torre said. ''You're not always going to hit home runs. We still have to be the club that does the fundamental things.''

    Cleveland pinch-hitter Lee Stevens delivered an RBI double off Steve Karsay in the eighth, Matt Lawton's run-scoring groundout cut it to 10-7, and Omar Vizquel added an RBI single.

    Travis Fryman hit his eighth home run for the Indians.

    Mariano Rivera got four outs for his 20th save.

    Coomer doubled in front of White's two-out, two-run single in the second. White went to second on a balk, Wilson punched an RBI triple to right and Soriano hit the next pitch for his 20th home run.

    The Yankees hit for the cycle in a span of four batters.

    Cleveland climbed back into the game in the fourth. Ricky Gutierrez fisted a two-run single to center. Lawton lined an RBI single off the first-base bag, cutting it to 5-4 and leaving runners at the corners with one out.

    But Wells escaped further damage by striking out Vizquel and retiring Burks on a foul pop. The big lefty was in control from there, needing just four pitches to get through the sixth and retiring 10 of 11 batters before Thome's home run.

    Wells left after 113 pitches, giving up five runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 exhausting innings. He improved to 15-4 career against Cleveland.

    ''I hate hot weather,'' Wells said. ''You just want to get out of there. In these conditions, you've still got to make good pitches.''

    Sabathia, Cleveland's No. 1 starter since the trade of Bartolo Colon, allowed six runs and seven hits in six innings.

    ''It was actually hotter in the dugout than it was on the field,'' the 6-foot-7, 270-pound lefty said. ''At least there was a little breeze out there.''

    Game notes

    Burks left in the seventh inning with flulike symptoms. ... The Yankees are 46-0 when leading after eight innings. ... After the game, the Yankees optioned LHP Randy Choate to Triple-A Columbus and called up RHP Brandon Knight. ... Sabathia had gone 38 2-3 consecutive innings without allowing a homer before Soriano connected.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press